Special feature: The power of two with David Dhawan

Yasmin Shabir

Features Writer


David Dhawan is going back to his greatest hits and reviving them to suit the audience of today. Likewise some of his characters in his films have either had a twin or they’ve had to live a double life in order to survive. BizAsiaLive.com will look at five films in which Dhawan’s characters either had a lookalike or they convinced others that they had one.

‘Raja/ Prem’ in ‘Judwaa’ (1997)
The original film had Salman Khan as the twins Raja and Prem who get separated at birth and meet again in adulthood. The twist with these twins was that they were able to feel each other’s pain or do what the other one was doing. Due to this there were many hilarious situations in the film such as when Raja is saving a girl and begins to fight, on the other side Prem can’t control his actions and accidently starts beating up a policeman.

The audience loved this film so much that it is no wonder the director wanted to remake it for the generation of today. In the 2017 version ‘Judwaa 2’, Varun Dhawan played the part of both Raja and Prem and he did each part with great conviction.

‘Bunnu/ Gauri Shankar’ in ‘Aankhen’ (1993)
This film was a huge success at the box office with superb music, a fantastic storyline and a strong star cast. Govinda took on two roles in the film one was the mischievous Bunnu who along with his brother Munnu (Chunkey Pandey) drove their father insane with their daily pranks. The other character was Gauri Shankar who lived in the village with his father and seemed to always get into trouble although he didn’t mean to.

When Gauri Shankar gets lost in the city it is Bunnu’s family members who take him in, while Bunnu is taken in by Gauri Shankar’s family causing lots of confusion. It is in the second half of the film we learn that the two are actually cousins therefore they resemble one another. Also the late Kadar Khan had a double role in the film where he played the part of Bunnu and Gauri Shankar’s fathers.

‘Kishen/ Tony’ in ‘Bol Radha Bol’ (1992)
Rishi Kapoor appeared in a double role in this romantic drama. Kishen lives in the city with his mother who handles all the business while he lives in his own dream world. His mother asks him to pay more attention to the business and after a serious talk he decides that he will go to a village to check that their project there is being handled appropriately. There he makes friends and falls in love with a girl named Radha (Juhi Chawla) who begins to learn English from him.

On his return to the city he finds that his mother has passed away and an imposter has taken his place. The imposter is Tony who looks identical to him but the difference is he has been hired to take Kishen’s place and to get hold of all of his wealth.

‘Pyare Mohan/ Chote Miyan’ and Arjun Singh/ Bade Miyan’ in ‘Bade Miyan Chote Miyan’ (1998)
This rib tickling comedy saw not only Govinda and Amitabh Bachchan team up but they also appeared in a double role. Pyare Mohan (Govinda) and Arjun Singh (Bachchan) were the honest policemen who fought hard to combat crime while Bade Miyan (Bachchan) and Chote Miyan (Govinda) were the mischievous criminals who lived life to the full.

While the policemen were serious the criminals seemed to lead a colourful life always smiling and joking. Both actors did a tremendous job in the way they presented the characters with their accents and the way they behaved, all these factors created some memorable characters.

‘Ram/Shyam’ in ‘Chor Machaaye Shor’ (2002)
This comedy by Dhawan saw Bobby Deol play the part of Shyam, a thief that gets caught by the police and is let free after two years. After his release he goes to recover the diamond that he had stolen and then carefully hidden before he got arrested. He realises that the abandoned place he had hidden the diamond has now been transformed into a police station making it impossible for him to get the diamond. Later he decides the best way to get to the diamond would be to take on the disguise of a policeman and with the help of his friend who gives him the police uniform and a fake moustache he becomes inspector Ram.

There were many comical moments throughout the film with the late Om Puri adding his humour here and there. His character Pandey failed to believe that Ram and Shyam are two people and tried to find ways to prove his theory only to fail so many times.

The news of another remake has arrived in Bollywood and the film is none other than the 90’s favourite ‘Coolie No 1’ (1995) which originally starred Govinda and Karisma Kapoor.